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45th Vice President Al Gore and Mike Allen. Photo: Chuck Kennedy for Axios

In the wake of Earth Day 2018, Mike Allen interviewed former Vice President Al Gore on the future of sustainability.

1 big thing: They discussed the roles the private and public sector should play in addressing climate change, with Gore arguing that we're on the brink of a "Sustainability Revolution"—a revolution with the power of the industrial revolution and the speed of the digital revolution.

Event highlights:

45th Vice President Al Gore and Mike Allen. Photo: Chuck Kennedy for Axios

Gore reminder I: "The first day on which the U.S. could legally withdraw from the Paris agreement happens to be the day after the next presidential election...The new president could give 30 days notice and the U.S. is right back in the agreement.”

Gore reminder II: When addressing acid rain in the 90's, Gore said cap and trade policies "worked much faster and cheaper than anyone expected"—arguing that change can come about faster than expected.

45th Vice President Al Gore. Photo: Chuck Kennedy for Axios

🌏 vs 🔫: Mike asks Gore if the next generation will be more focused on gun control or climate change. Gore tells Mike we should be able to "walk and chew gum at the same time."

Gore on Exxon's longtime knowledge of climate change: "If a publicly traded company intentionally deceives its investors about a material fact. That's fraud."

45th Vice President Al Gore and Mike Allen. Photo: Chuck Kennedy for Axios

On EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt: "I don't know why he is still in office."

Why it matters: Scott Pruitt has been extremely effective in terms of dismantling the regulations implemented by the Obama-era EPA. He has also recently come under fire amid a series of accusations regarding ethics violations.

Gore compares the Trump presidency to a bad science experiment: "In science, some experiments are terminated early for ethical reasons."

Mike mingles with students from The School for Ethics and Global Leadership. Photo: Chuck Kennedy for Axios

24 students from The School for Ethics and Global Leadership joined us for Tuesday's program.

Guests were served an environmentally-friendly, locally-sourced breakfast. Photo: Chuck Kennedy for Axios
The Earth tastes good. Photo: Chuck Kennedy for Axios

Thank you to Bank of America for sponsoring this event.

Go deeper

4 hours ago - World

Biden seeks to reboot U.S. sanctions policy

Sanctions increased under Obama and dramatically under Trump. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call

The Biden administration is rethinking the U.S. approach to sanctions after four years of Donald Trump imposing and escalating them.

The big picture: Sanctions are among the most powerful tools the U.S. has to influence its adversaries’ behavior without using force. But they frequently fail to bring down regimes or moderate their behavior, and they can increase the suffering of civilians and resentment of the U.S.

5 hours ago - World

Merkel's farewell spoiled by Poland crisis at EU summit

One last awkward EU "family photo." Photo: John Thys/AFP via Getty Images

Angela Merkel took up her vaunted mantle as Europe's crisis manager for what could be the last time tonight, as she urged the EU to find compromise in its showdown with Poland.

Why it matters: The European Commission has threatened to withhold over $40 billion in pandemic recovery funds after Poland's constitutional tribunal — stacked with loyalists from the ruling right-wing populist party — rejected the principle that EU law has primacy over national law.

Republicans who put it all on the line

Rep. Nancy Mace speaks with reporters after voting to hold Steve Bannon in contempt of Congress. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

A small contingent of House Republicans risked their political futures on Thursday, they say, in the name of constitutional responsibility.

Why it matters: The nine Republicans who voted to hold former Trump aide Steve Bannon in contempt of Congress are now in peril of becoming political pariahs. They've opened themselves up to potential primary challengers and public attacks from their party's kingmaker — former President Trump.